A Taxing Time for the Bishop Estate: The I.R.S. Role in Charity Governance
Posted: 25 Jul 2006
This piece, included in the University of Hawaii Law Review's symposium issue on the Bishop Estate, explores the relationship between the new intermediate sanctions law and the IRS's power to revoke tax exemption under § 501(c)(3). Inspired by the storied setting, I indulge in a fantasy: This article pretends that the IRS revoked the Estate's exemption, and takes the form of the Tax Court declaratory judgment opinion. I reluctantly 'rule' that exemption was not appropriate, because State enforcement action against the trustees was proceeding. (However, this forum allows me to hedge my argument by producing two concurring and one dissenting opinion!) Better would be for Congress to take up the recommendation of the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation that the IRS be permitted to share with the States information from ongoing investigations of tax-exempt organizations.
Keywords: exemptions, intermediate sanctions law, IRS, nonprofits
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